June 30 (Reuters) – The New York Stock Exchange opened lower on Thursday for the final session of its worst quarter in more than two years, as market sentiment remained weighed down by fears that monetary tightening by the Federal Reserve (Fed ) hamper economic growth.
About ten minutes after the start of trading, the Dow Jones index lost 533.48 points, or 1.72%, to 30,495.83, the Standard & Poor’s 500 fell 1.72% to 3,753.2 and the Nasdaq Composite is down 2.02% at 10,952.63.
The remarks made Wednesday by the chairman of the Fed, Jerome Powell, on the risk of seeing the rise in rates slowing growth even if the greatest danger remained that of a lasting inflation continue to weigh on the morale of investors.
“Fed Chairman (Jerome) Powell and the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) don’t want to get this wrong,” said Steve Englander, head of G10 global currency research at Standard Chartered.
“The signals they are sending are becoming increasingly hawkish as they realize that the market may be pricing in the victory over inflation prematurely.”
Today’s US economic indicators had no noticeable effect on the stock market trend.
Consumer spending by US households rose just 0.2% in May, twice less than expected, and jobless claims fell to 231,000 but were above consensus.
The S&P 500 is currently down 17% over the April-June period, its worst quarterly performance since the first three months of 2020, marked by the outbreak of the coronavirus crisis.
All Dow Jones stocks are moving into negative territory and the biggest drop is for Walgreens Boots Alliance, which fell 5.53% after reporting a 76% drop in quarterly profit, weighed down by lower demand for COVID-19 vaccines and an out-of-court settlement with Florida to settle opioid litigation.
Among the major growth stocks, Microsoft, Apple, Amazon and Tesla lost between 1.4% and 3%.
On the rise, Pfizer and BioNTech win 0.94 and 1.94% respectively after the signing of an agreement for the delivery of 105 million doses of their vaccine against COVID-19 to American health authorities in the fall.